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We talk about basing a fair bit around here.  Folks make tutorials, discuss current projects, and there are always several active conversations about tools and materials at any given time.  One thing that always interests me though, is to see what you all are using on your bases.  I thought it might be interesting to allow folks an opportunity to plug their favourite products or found items for creating a variety of different base types.  I'd rather we avoid simple tools that most folks are likely to have (hobby knife, pin vise, dremel, etc.) and focus instead on types of flocking, ballast, scatter, and the various little props and things that we use for this branch of the hobby.

 

Name your top 5!  Here are mine:

 

Cork!  Sheets from the hardware store, coasters or pot trivets from Ikea, bits of ripped up old wine corks... anything.  Layer it for mountainous bases, scatter bits for small rocks, make stepping stones through a river or lava.  It's versatile, and easy to work with, too.  Paint grey, wash dark, drybrush lighter grey, and you've got a presentable rocky outcropping.  Or layer up, cover in snow flock, pool some water effects product for convincing ice... the point is, it's wonderful stuff, and plentiful.  A couple pieces of cork can easily up your basing game.

 

Golden Pumice Gel: http://www.michaels.com/Golden-Coarse-Pumice-Gel/fa0851,default,pd.html

 

I use the coarse one, but I know some are partial to the fine.  Spread it on, wait, prime and paint.  This stuff can give the impression of dirt or gravel, and with a base coat and a couple layers of drybrushing, makes for very easy, but very effective looking bases.  I typically do a gravel or dirt layer with this, then add any additional grass, leaves, or whatever else as a next step.  It dries hard, and won't scatter all over the place like sand can.  Liquitex makes a very similar product.  Consider this as a way cheaper, much higher quality alternative, if you are at all fond of GW's texture paints.

 

Elmer's Wood Filler:  http://www.elmers.com/product/detail/E861

 

A bit of an odd one, I know.  I squeeze it into a base (I typically use lipped bases), level it off, and let it dry.  From there, it takes carving wonderfully.  Best used for things like carving flagstones, wood planks, bricks and other textured bases.  This does not work particularly well (in my experience so far) with basing stamps, as it is too sticky, so consider this as a (usually nicer looking) alternative if you don't have stamps, or don't have the right putty for them, or simply want to take extra care making something a bit more customized.  So far the best tools I've used with this are dental picks.

 

Woodland Scenics Fine Turf - Soil:  http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/Item/FT-S/page/1

 

This is a groundcover, popular with the model railroad crowd.  It's spongy, and quite fine.  I use this rather differently than most, I think.  I mix up a 50/50 elmer's glue and water paste, then mix that 50/50 with this.  The result is clumpy and messy when you're applying it, but it dries hard, and can be painted or drybrushed easily.  When you're looking for a loose dirt or soft groundcover look, this is a very easy solution, and visually more varied and textured than many of the alternatives.

 

Secret Weapon Sack O' Skulls: http://www.secretweaponminiatures.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=47_55&products_id=230

 

I love these things.  I like sneaking them into unexpected places in bases.  Amid a pile of rocks, under a rocky outcropping, in the shadow of a bush, that sort of thing.  Anything to add a bit of visual interest to a base.

 

 

Honorable mentions:  GF9's static grass, snow flock, and various groundcovers.  Cheaper than some alternatives (coughGWcough), and a wonderful variety.

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We talk about basing a fair bit around here.  Folks make tutorials, discuss current projects, and there are always several active conversations about tools and materials at any given time.  One thing

Wow, I feel a bit inadequate. ;)   1. putty of some kind for filling slotta bases. Fill that hole and paint it neatly and it already looks 100% better and you have a perfectly playable figure.  2.

1. Imagination 2. Scraps and interesting pieces of plastic / metal 3. White Glue 4. Rocks 5. Sand  

Wow, I feel a bit inadequate. ;)

 

1. putty of some kind for filling slotta bases. Fill that hole and paint it neatly and it already looks 100% better and you have a perfectly playable figure. 

2. paint.  You don't need a bunch of fancy flock or railroad gravel. With a few strokes you can paint a wood deck for your pirate, or a cobble street for your thief to stand on. 

3. sand. Cheaper than dirt, literally. The nice thing about sand is it comes in so many sizes. So you can have a very finely sanded smooth base, or one that looks rocky and rugged out of the same bag. 

4. tea or coffee grounds make great dirt, and everybody drinks it. Even if you're not a caffiend you can collect this for free. 

5. bits. A skull, broken weapon, bit of chain, etc add so much atmosphere that sometimes people will forget to look at the mini.

 

As for flock. A little goes a long way. Less is more. A few spots of green on a sand/gravel base looks better than a fuzzy green mushroom. 

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  1. Plumber's Epoxy: This is my sculpting medium for bases, the form material for some of my Mushroom Folk, & I use it to fill in the bottom of the base, with or without a washer for weight.
  2. Aleene's Tacky glue for various things...watered down for #3
  3. Florist/craft sand of various grit for earth/stone effects.
  4. Various type of flock & other flora. Silflor & Heki have become favorites. There are all sorts of cool things here at Scenery Express:  http://www.sceneryexpress.com/default.asp  ...nice folk to deal with also.
  5. Florist's wire with & without raffia for flora from branches to trees.

I could go on for quite awhile but those 5 are my basics.

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I've been using plaster of paris, but pumice gel is on my shopping list, so I'll compare it soon.

 

My top 5 as of right now:

 

1.  Plaster of paris.  Cheap, easy to use, produces great texture and can be easily carved and customized for any kind of terrain.

2.  GF9 basing grit.  Since the plaster is so textured, I skip the sand and dirt and use these just for stones.

3.  GF9 static grass.  5 colors of it included in the master basing kit, along with 3 sizes of basing grit, snow, etc..

4.  Epoxy Putty.  Anything you can think of, you can make.  I use ProCreate now just because it was on sale when I ran out of Greenstuff.  I like both.

5.  Woodland Scenics Fine Leaf Foliage (click for image).  It's clusters of flock impregnated with tiny branches.  It's expensive but it not only makes amazing trees, it's perfect for bushes and shrubbery as well.

 

Honorable mentions:

- Golden Extra Heavy Gel for water effects.. just got this recently and it is awesome

- Army Painter Battlefields Summer Undergrowth.. it's lichen.  Just another option for shrubbery, and it makes nice "underwater" foliage as well.

- Woodland Scenics Field Grass.. Fantastic for long grass and reeds.

 

I suppose "white glue" should really be #1, but I figure it's a given.

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1. Superglue (Cyano Acrylate Glue).

2. Woodland Scenic's Model Railroad Ballast - assorted colors/grades.

3. Elmer's Glue (White Glue --- might be called PVA Glue in your corner of the world).

4. Ordinary silt or sand nicked from the verge of carparks (parking lots; drives; etc.)

5.....

 

_____

 

Notes:

 

The first two are the ingredients of Cyano-acryla-creteTM a very good scale simulation of concrete and a near unbreakable basing material / gap filler.

 

Never buy the water soluble "washable school glue" offered annually by Elmer's at the start of every school season. That stuff is a disaster waiting to happen if used in terrain building or basing.

 

My basing abilities are too primitive to have a "5" ... :down:

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Lets see, Top 5...

 

1. Army Painter Tufts (Though may try other brands soon) and other 3d scale plantlife

2. Static grass

3. I have the army painter cork rocks (I could have made them myself though)

4. Green Stuff

5. Woodland senics Realistic water. (Expensive but will last a long time doing only bases)

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Okay... my five:

 

1:  Elmer's Wood Glue and Superglue. -I have used wood glue and superglue as the main things to hold it all together.  I definitely like the wood glue more than the plain white glue, but I will use both.

2:  Liquitex Matte Medium  -Paint-less paint?  I can make a smooth, liquid texture and make something look as if it's sludge or lava without having to deal with other water-like products?  Okay.

3:  Woodland Scenics/Scene-a-rama soil and dirt and static grass. I like these, and they're low work basing supplies that make it easy for me to complete something

4:  Roll of Cork (really thin, compared to some of the others)

5:  Green Stuff.

 

That's me.  I've expanded a bit, but those are my core five.

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My top five are:

1) Green stuff, but I am currently looking at cheaper alternatives.

2) Sand

3) Kitty litter (unused... ), they are the perfect size for rocks.

4) Railroad flock and Woodland Scenics grass and greenery

5) Twigs, seeds and other things foraged in the "wild"

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@citrine: try looking for "Kneadatite," it is the original GS and much, much cheaper than GS sold by mini mfgs (like, 5x cheaper).

i always get the bars with separate components so the GS doesnt go bad at the join like it does with the tape.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Green-Stuff-Bars-Kneadatite-Blue-Yellow-Epoxy-Putty-NEW-3-52-oz-100g-/400632904883?pt=Games_US&hash=item5d4794fcb3

you would be hard pressed to find a better alternative.

 

my list:

1) polymer clay. 90% of my base work is done with this stuff - it can make virtually anything, holds any texture, and hardens with heat so i can go from concept to glued in 5 mins. it is very cheap so i can make a ton of bases for only $2. once hard it carves well. to use it i cover the base in tinfoil, sculpt what i need, carefully remove the tinfoil form without distorting the shape, then pop the tinfoil shape with the sculpted clay on top in to the oven, remove the base from the foil and glue it to the plastic, done. this brings me to #2...

 

2) Cyano Acrylate Glue. fast and effective. indispensable.

 

3) greenstuff. perfect gap filler and also good for adding small details and bits like vines and bones.

 

4) modpodge. this PVA sealer and glue is "white glue" for crafts. very tough and dries clear. can be used as a gap filler, to hold flock, to toughen surfaces, and for thin water effects, among other things.

 

5) wood filler. great for super fast earth bases. mix with dirt sand and spices for texture. seal with modpodge. included purely because of its convenience; the same effects can be created with clay, modpodge and spices.

 

honorable mention) the wife's spice cabinet. great for flocks of all types: pepper chunks for rocks, blended spices for loose dirt, leaves for leaves, etc. mix 'em in to a drop of modpodge and apply. this may be better than 5.

Edited by vulture
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@citrine: try looking for "Kneadatite," it is the original GS and much, much cheaper than GS sold by mini mfgs (like, 10x cheaper).

i always get the bars with separate components so the GS doesnt go bad at the join like it does with the tape.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Green-Stuff-Bars-Kneadatite-Blue-Yellow-Epoxy-Putty-NEW-3-52-oz-100g-/400632904883?pt=Games_US&hash=item5d4794fcb3

you would be hard pressed to find a better alternative.

 

 

 

<sigh> I had a look at that... doesn't look like there are any domestic sellers and $23 shipping to Australia makes it more expensive than GS.  A pity.  I like the idea of separate bars!

 

ED:

 

My basing stuff:

 

* Green Stuff

* Stamps

* Bits

* Paint

 

I don't tend to stick stuff like sand & flocking on as I find it doesn't last during game play and it was the stuff I always had to replace when I did use it (all of my figures see use in games except a few gifted ones which are much too good to use for games the way my players treat them)

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